What a “Ri-Dickey-lous” Story
Thursday June 21st, 2012
John Burns: One of the better stories in all of baseball this season has been the dominance of R.A. Dickey.
The 37 year-old pitcher has been one of the top pitchers in baseball this season with a MLB best 11 wins with a 2.00 ERA. Dickey has had success in his career with the Mets posting an ERA of 2.84 and 3.28 in 2010 and 2011. But Dickey has been more than just successful this season- he has been dominant.
Dickey has been considered as a “late bloomer” in his career. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 1996 MLB draft. The Rangers discovered a missing ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow joint which caused major concerns for Texas. The Rangers still gave Dickey a chance; he debuted in 2001 and played through 2006 with Texas. In 2005, Dickey started to concentrate on throwing a knuckleball to extend his career.
Dickey did not have much success until he signed with the New York Mets in 2010. Just recently he posted his second consecutive one-hitter against Baltimore. Dickey is the first pitcher to throw back-to-back one-hitters since 1988. The 37 year-old is showing everyone that he is not your typical knuckleball pitcher. The reason Dickey is such a successful knuckleball pitcher is that he throws his knuckle hard and actually commands it in the strike zone, which most knuckleball pitchers cannot do. Dickey’s knuckleball has never been seen before. In the process, he has become the most dominant knuckleball pitcher that the game has ever seen.
The MLB All Star Game is on July 10th. Do not be surprised to see R.A. Dickey as the NL starter. Dickey is now being considered as one of the best pitchers in baseball and is getting respect from opposing ball clubs. The newly retired Tony La Russa will be managing the NL team in the summer classic, which means it is his decision on who starts. La Russa has a lot of possibilities for the starting role, between Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Matt Cain, just to name a few of his choices. All four are deserving choices. In my mind, Dickey must be the starter- not just because it would be a great story, but because he leads the entire MLB in ERA and Wins. It’s amazing to think four years ago this guy was pitching his way out of baseball as a middle reliever and now he’s the best pitcher in baseball. One of those great mysteries that is the game of baseball. It’s almost like Dickey and Tim Lincecum have completely changed roles.
Dickey’s scoreless streak stands at 42.2 consecutive innings, which is only behind Dwight Gooden in Mets history with 49. It will be interesting to see if Dickey comes close to Orel Hershiser’s 59 scoreless inning streak, which is the longest in MLB history. Realistically I don’t think it will happen… but then I also would have never expected Dickey to throw back to back 1 hit shutouts so who knows.
How awesome would it be for baseball in R.A. Dickey won the NL Cy Young award in 2012? If so, he would be the first ever knuckleballer to win the award. And probably the last as well.
If R.A. Dickey can continue to pitch like this, it will not only be the best story in baseball this year but maybe in all of sports. We are seeing a legendary season in the making. Watch as many of Dickey’s starts as you can this year. You will be in for a baseball treat.
***John Burns- MLB reports Intern: I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter (@JohnBurns_MLB)***
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Posted on June 21, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged baseball, Dwight Gooden, gio gonzalez, knuckleball, matt cain, mlb, new york mets, r.a. dickey, stephen strasburg, texas rangers. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.